After their first year of growth with no hiccups, diseases or parasites, it’s time for our now two-year-old vines to find a new home and stretch their roots in more permanent soil.
We grew them from seed brought back from France and held on to them for a few years before planting them in small 2″ seed starter racks to get them started. After they germinated in their infancy soil, we transferred them to pots. Here are some close up of their tightly bound one-year-old stalks.
Like most living things, tiny seeds follow the sun upward. Only a few inches tall, our bare stalks began to branch out and grow tiny leaves soon after leaving the sun room.
One year later, our 21 vines have grown to four feet tall. So, how does one transport 21 vines without tilting over their soil buckets or unwinding them from their support pole? Rent a UHAUL!
Our UHAUL vine transporting adventures began on a Friday and lasted through Sunday afternoon. Driving our vines from their home of two years in Phillip’s mother’s suburban backyard, nearly 130 miles northwest to Heather’s mother’s country property. And, because the weekend trip coincided with the first of the year’s weddings, we dipped down into South Carolina to be in a friend’s wedding before heading to the Surry County Valley to plant.
These vines are ours to grow and nurture. We have a few French varietals that will help us understand how French grape vines respond to North Carolina soils and climates. Our access to Heather’s mother’s property is invaluable considering the land is undeveloped, well-protected and receives floods of sunshine during the day.
Packing up the UHAUL and towing the vines was effortless. The real work began on Sunday. Together, we measured out 3 rows of 7 vines. Then, Phillip spent the entire afternoon in his element, digging holes, filling them with black cow manure and planting. We surrounded the vines with love and encouragement the whole time, hoping they’ll take to their home and prosper!
To protect our grape vines from the deer that will surely inspect and taste the new fruit within reach, we constructed a temporary fence out of four foot metal stakes and a plastic fence mesh. The biggest challenge of the entire trip was getting the empty UHAUL up the steep gravel driveway at night when we finally left, but with a few tries, we made it.
Now, we’ll do our best to visit the vines often (and Heather’s mother), and update you on their status!
- We’re heading back to France, finally!
- Things to do Before Traveling to Europe (or anywhere really)